Daniel Bryan and Batista are at the center of the latest WWE rumors, either as potential opponents or regarding how the two stars will be booked in the near future.
For Bryan, there seems to be a misconception about his connection with the audience. According to a recent backstage report, his continued success still hasn't quieted his doubters. As for Batista, how much longer his current run will last and whom he faces highlights some of the most discussion-worthy WWE buzz on the Internet.
Other WWE rumors focus on the plan for introducing Adam Rose and how much longer once can expect to see John Cena and Bray Wyatt go at it.
Some of the reports sound highly feasible. Others are just hard to fathom being true. The following is a breakdown of them all, trying to make sense of all the noise.
How Over Is Bryan?
Bryan's story, both in reality and in WWE-scripted storyline, has been about overcoming the odds and critics. Apparently, even after a stellar performance at WrestleMania 30, cementing himself as the company's top babyface and electrifying the crowd like few others have in the past, doubters are still doubting.
PWInsider, via Wrestling Inc, reports, "Some higher-ups feel that Bryan isn't over, it's the 'yes!' chant that is over. They feel that Bryan peaked at WrestleMania XXX with the WWE World Heavyweight Title win."
The report goes on to say, "There are many people waiting to see if Bryan cools off and gets moved out of his current position or if he gets hotter and stays there."
This is insane. It can't be true, right?
Fandango's song was more over than him, but Bryan is the best in-ring performer in the business today and a man with an infectious passion. If it was the "Yes!" chants that were popular and not him, fans wouldn't have spent the last few months griping about seeing Bryan not get his opportunity on top.
That, and they wouldn't have celebrated his victories with such fervor.
If someone on the WWE team is unsure if Bryan has ensnared the audience, he/she needs to find another line of work. Bryan's popularity is as obvious as the wetness of water.
Backstage Word on Batista
It's best to take a wait-and-see approach with Batista at this point. The barrage of differing info on what's lined up for him is dizzying.
Fans first heard that Batista was leaving shortly after Extreme Rules after balking at a showdown with Bryan. According to PWInsider, via PWMania.com, "Word is that WWE wanted to do Batista vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Title at June’s Payback pay-per-view but Batista turned it down."
Word has it that Batista refused to lose to Bryan at Payback so we're getting Kane v Bryan instead now pic.twitter.com/xhfYrjlj4o— GreatWrestling (@GreatWrestling) May 6, 2014
The reported reasoning was that Batista felt that he shouldn't be made to lose someone so small and look weak just before embarking on his promotional tour for his movie.
Further info pointed at a different reason for Batista wanting an early exit.
F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc, reported the following:
Batista isn't happy with how things he was told would happen when he came in have been changed. It was said that the money isn't that great and when you have money like he does, it makes it easier to leave, as we saw with CM Punk. Batista was scheduled to take time off in June any way and he had decided to just leave a few weeks early.
The conflicting reports differ on the source of Batista's unhappiness but agree that he is going to leave soon. PWInsider, via Wrestle Zone, noted that "Batista has been intimating backstage at Extreme Rules today that he will be sticking around and working through Payback after all."
That last report appears to contain the most truth, as Batista was a central figure in the war between The Shield and Evolution on Monday's Raw. That clash sure makes it look as if we're heading for a rematch of the six-man instant classic from Extreme Rules.
Adding to that, WWE reportedly kept Bryan and Batista from meeting in the ring.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, "the original script for tonight's episode of Raw called for Daniel Bryan vs. Batista." Bryan ended up facing Alberto Del Rio instead. F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc, adds, "Another script had Batista losing to Roman Reigns."
Instead, Batista ended the night towering over a fallen Reigns and the rest of The Shield.
WWE may have talked Batista out of ending his current run, offering him a chance to shine against The Shield rather than lose to Bryan. Bryan continuing his story with Kane on Monday's Raw certainly points to those two meeting at Payback rather than Bryan and Batista.
Rose, A Little at a Time
The party maestro Rose debuted on Monday's Raw. He confronted Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger but never competed. Reportedly, that's because WWE is planning to work Rose into the mix bit by bit.
Johnson notes for PWInsider, "I was told that the Adam Rose debut came off far better live than it did on Raw. WWE specifically chose not to have him wrestle so they could slowly introduce him to the masses."
The Rose character is so entrance- and promo-based that it makes perfect sense to have him work the crowd that way first a la Damien Sandow. While a talented in-ring worker, a big part of his appeal is his character.
His supporters will be glad to hear that the Raw cameras apparently just didn't capture the energy inside the Times Union Center.
So bummed about Adam Rose debut. Hoped for something grander. Entrance was shoot poorly & Cole endorsing him made Rose so uncool. Letdown— Mike Johnson (@MikePWInsider) May 6, 2014
On TV, Rose's introduction felt uneven. Some fans sang to his theme music, which is a great sign, but it didn't have the kind of electricity that his NXT debut did. That's likely largely because of the difference in size in the arenas.
Full Sail University has a sort of Hammerstein Ballroom-like intimacy.
Cena and Wyatt to Continue
Cena won his WrestleMania clash with Wyatt. Wyatt escaped the cage at Extreme Rules to get the victory there. That makes their series against each other an even 1-1.
It appears there won't just be a rubber match to end the feud.
F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc, reports, "The John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt feud is scheduled to go on for some time, possibly past the Payback pay-per-view on June 1st." This rivalry has provided some of the most memorable images as of late, but WWE is in danger of stretching this for too long.
It's hard to imagine there are enough twists the company can throw into this story to keep it as taut and compelling as it has been at its peak. Asking Wyatt to entrance the crowd with much of the same rhetoric until Money in the Bank is asking too much.
If WWE doesn't have a clear plan for either Superstar beyond this, though, it's more than plausible that the going plan is to just have their feud continue.
As we see with the backstage look at the plans for Batista, though, things are constantly shifting on WWE's drawing board.